An almost rock star still doing the thing he loves
We just knew they were going to be huge stars, internationally famous, wealthy beyond imagining.
It was summer's end, 1965. My buddies and I, along with hundreds of other people, gathered in the parking lot of the Northland shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio, to watch the Battle of the Bands.
The bands were all local kids, just like us, and one of those bands -- the Dantes -- had something special going for it. The lead singer, 18-year-old Barry Hayden, possessed the onstage electricity, the lithe movements, the command of each moment, of a Midwestern Mick Jagger. You couldn't take your eyes off him.
The band had a terrific, hard-driving new song called "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" (it pre-dated the smooth Barry White tune with similar wording), and the Dantes went to No. 1 with it on the hometown rock station, WCOL. We stood there on the surface of the parking lot and watched them in that summer's waning days, and we felt elevated just to be spending the afternoon in their presence.
The Dantes would make two more records -- both of them Rolling Stones covers: "Under My Thumb" and "Connection" -- each of which also went to No. 1 on WCOL. They opened for Jimi Hendrix once at a show at Veterans Memorial auditorium in Columbus. But somehow, despite their talent, nothing happened for the Dantes nationally. Three years later, they disbanded.
And Barry Hayden?
We didn't know what became of him.
As this summer of 2012 was winding down, I was visiting central Ohio and saw that on a Friday night, at a place in the town of Gahanna called the FM All-American Bar and Grill, there was going to be a band called the Professors ("fully tenured rock and roll") playing. No cover charge, no minimum.
The lead singer's name was Barry Hayden.Continue reading on cnn.com